Tuesday 19 January 2021

How does organizational structure and culture affect project management?

Companies can have all kinds of organizational structure. From the classical functional hierarchy, in which each person reports to only one leader, to a matrix that is partly hierarchical and partly project-oriented, where most people work on projects.

Each of these structures influences how projects are executed. In the functional hierarchy, projects are not a priority, making it difficult to achieve the success of the project itself. Project managers have virtually no authority. 

A functional manager is usually responsible for things like project budget. It is difficult to find resources because they are subordinate to functional managers, not to the project manager.

Matrix management structures are still functional hierarchies, but they support projects more than pure hierarchies. They can be weak, balanced or strong matrices, depending on how much attention they pay to projects. 

In the matrix system, project managers have certain decision-making power. The resources allocated to the projects are accountable to two managers as well as the personal manager of the project.

Organizational culture & Management

The project management structure makes it much easier for project managers to achieve results. Project managers have almost complete power over their projects, including the budget. The resources allocated to work on the project are reported to the project manager to whom they are assigned.

The organizational structure has a big impact on how projects are executed, how much a project manager can do, and how easy it is to implement a project.

Organizational culture is a set of shared values, beliefs, assumptions, habits, and other factors that determine people's behavior and decisions in an organization. All these factors of organizational culture affect the implementation of projects and their success. Let's look at how organizational culture affects projects.

The mission and vision of the organization shape the culture of the organization. Projects that support the company's mission can attract more attention and resources. When faced with a difficult decision, you can use the mission to determine what to do.

The Leadership

Leadership and authority are also an important part of organizational culture. If management sets clear goals and then delegates employee responsibility, this approach works equally well in your projects.

Another aspect of the culture is the organization's work environment. For example, in a favorable environment, people are motivated and ready to achieve their goals. 

It is easy to learn from the lessons because employees are used to contributing and striving for improvement. On the other hand, in a negative environment you may have to spend a lot of time managing your team.

Some cultures believe in enforcing the rules no matter what. Other cultures encourage innovation, expecting employees to try new approaches, ask what has been done before, and come up with better ways of achieving results. 

You don't need to follow the rules in a rules-based culture, but if you're thinking about breaking the rules, it's important to know which ones you can break. And also think about what you will do if your non-standard approach does not work.

Change management may depend on the culture of the organization. If the company is not risk-averse, the change management process may include several rounds of reform analysis and requires the approval of several people. 

On the other hand, if change is seen simply as life in the world of project management, the process of change managements likely to be much easier.

In projects with people working in different parts of the country or the world, you also need to consider the culture of your team members. People can react differently to situations or communicate differently depending on the norms of their culture. 

For example, in some cultures people are taught not to show weakness, which in other cultures can be interpreted as arrogance.

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